Taking aim at homeless despair

Building new hope
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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Hosted by HomeAid of Sacramento, in conjunction with the generosity of Joan and George Ahart of Coon Creek Trap and Skeet Club in Lincoln, the organization’s 10th annual trap shoot fundraiser was a huge success last Friday.

Attended by more than 450 shooters, volunteers and supporters, the North State Building Industry Association charity raised $85,000 to assist the temporarily homeless.

“Our goal was to raise $75,000,” said HomeAid Executive Director Beth Kang. She said the organization was hoping to beat last year’s $70,000 effort; they ended up blowing it out of the water.

HomeAid and the North State association raises money to renovate dwellings in which those who are temporarily without shelter can have a place to stay. Some HomeAid beneficiaries spoke before the event telling of how this helping hand led them out of despair into hope and even success.

“It gives people an opportunity who maybe want to get out of the lifestyle they’re in, but don’t know how to get there,” said HomeAid Board President Bryce Robicheau. “It gives them housing and a lot of support to get back on their feet and really do something with themselves.”

Robicheau told of one speaker who came out of a gang-violent environment and was able to straighten out her life because of HomeAid. Thanks to that assistance, she is now well on her way to becoming a homeowner as well.

Kang and Robicheau, who was also master of ceremonies at the event, said for every dollar the charity raises it is able to triple that amount. That’s done through donations from supporting contractors who generously give of their time, labor, materials and money following HomeAid’s initial investment. The owners of the properties then allow those needing shelter to remain for a determinate amount of time.

The trap shoot was so well attended, Coon Creek nearly ran out of space.

“It was a huge home run,” said Mark Eglington, who was in charge of parking at the event. “We ran out of parking spaces basically because it was such a successful event. We packed them to the gills and it was great to have everyone to support the cause.”

Because there were so many contestants, Robicheau set up a BB gun and slingshot range. Those who were done shooting trap, or weren’t yet scheduled to shoot, could busy themselves participating in other contests. Thanks to generous donors, there were plenty of prizes to go around.

“During the day, there’s nothing to do when you’re not shooting a shotgun,” Robicheau said. “We came up with the idea to have an event while shotgun’s going on.”

The BB gun and slingshot ranges were also used to raise money. Contestants would get three shots for $5. Daisy also donates an engraved Red Ryder BB gun for auction. However, this year the gun was donated to Ahart for hosting the event the past five years.

Prizes for the day included donations from Granite Bay Country Club, the trap-shoot teams, Perry Creek Winery, Oakley Beach Cruiser Bikes, plus a travel package to Mexico. Also offered were hunting and fishing trips.

The raffle included shotguns from such manufacturers as Remington, Benelli Nova, Savage, Mossberg, Ruger, Stoger and Escort.

“When you’re doing better financially … that’s how America is; that’s what’s so great about this country,” Robicheau said. “We don’t always need government intervention to help; people will actually go out and do that. I think the American heart is a good heart.”

HomeAid and its sponsors were testament to that.